Based on information provided at a low-cost online crop information seminar, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) encouraged Nigerian flour millers to continue purchasing U.S. hard red spring (HRS) between November 2022 and April 2023 even though the grade of available supplies had changed from the previous crop.
USW leverages annual crop quality seminars to give overseas buyers the information they need to adjust contract specifications and plan purchases based on supply and quality factors.
Online Option Expands Expertise
Choosing to conduct virtual crop information seminars with the five major Nigerian milling companies in November 2022 enabled USW Cape Town to include USW technical milling experts from the Casablanca office in the seminars. In addition, expenses to conduct the meetings were limited to the small portion of Foreign Market Development (FMD) funding that covers salaries for three USW non-U.S. citizen staffers.
USW knew that to meet Nigerian consumer preference for bread with a high loaf volume, millers there often contract for the HRS subclass “Dark Northern Spring” wheat, which has 75% or more “dark hard and vitreous (DHV)” kernels. At the crop information seminars, USW had to report that the 2022 U.S. HRS crop available through Gulf ports had graded 1 Northern Spring (NS) with an average of less than 75% DHV.
Crop Knowledge Pays
Yet USW was able to help the millers understand that specifying NS with a minimum of 60% DHV would yield flour with the functional characteristics to produce high loaf volumes. As a result, two of the mills adjusted their NS/DNS specifications accordingly and purchased three shipments of HRS/NS between December 2022 and April 2023 for a total volume of 75,900 metric tons with an estimated total FOB value of $31 million.